A delegation of Kashmir-based Working Journalists comprising Correspondents, Reporters, Photojournalists and Video-journalists called on Director Information & Public Relations, Muneer-ul-Islam here this afternoon to discuss modalities for handover of proposed Srinagar Press Club to the media fraternity and measures needed for welfare and facilitating discharge of professional duties by the journalists on the ground.
Deputy Director Information (PR) Sheikh Zahoor was also present on the occasion.
The delegation comprised Farooq Javaid, Mukhtar Khan, S Irfan, and Touseef Mustafa of Kashmir Press Photographers Association, S Tariq President Kashmir Video Journalists Association, Saleem Pandit and Zulfkar Majid of Kashmir Working Journalists Association and Ishfaq-ul Hassan and Asif Qurashi of Kashmir Journalist Corps held detailed discussions with the Director Information on issues being confronted by the journalists in Kashmir.
The working journalists hailed and thanked the Government for setting up Press Club in Srinagar, which was a long pending demand of the Valley-based journalists, and sought its early handover to the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) as announced by the Chief Minister so that it can be made functional at the earliest.
It was further decided that after the take-over of the proposed Press Club by KEG an elected body comprising various media/journalists organizations in Kashmir would be put in place within two months to manage the affairs of the Club.
The Director Information and Public Relations assured the journalists that the Department would provide all possible support to them to make the Press Club fully functional. He also assured them that the welfare issues raised by them would be taken up at the appropriate quarters in the Government.
On the occasion, the representatives of the journalists bodies also suggested a slew of measures encompassing welfare and financial security for the working journalists to facilitate their smooth professional work. They demanded that a Welfare Scheme, Health Insurance Scheme and Pension Scheme
It was unanimously decided that Directorate of Information will initiate a proposal before the Government regarding welfare scheme for the working journalists including health insurance and pension. The journalist associations were asked to submit their suggestions in this regard to the Director within next 10 days.
Among other issues, formulation of a Redressal Committee was also discussed which will look after issues being faced by the journalists while performing their professional duties and take cognizance of complaints and action taken thereafter.
Addressing the journalists, the Director Information, Muneer-ul-Islam, hoped that the interaction, even though a small step, will prove a beginning towards fine-tuning a professional relationship between the Department and the larger media fraternity in Jammu and Kashmir.